Saturday, June 28, 2014

Shuffle Saturday (69): I Love You Always Forever

Every Saturday I'll be posting a random song off of my iPod. Everyone can feel free to join in, just leave a link to your Shuffle Saturday post in the comments! This week's song is:

I Love You Always Forever by Donna Lewis

Does anyone remember this song? It's one of the few songs that never gets old. I could probably listen to it on repeat for the rest of my life and still think it was just as happy and adorable. If this song doesn't make you smile then I don't know what will.

What are you listening to?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Dream Cast: Lost in Starlight by Sherry Soule

Today bestselling author, Sherry Soule has some exciting news to share with us! She will be publishing a brand new Upper YA/Sci-Fi romance series: the Starlight Saga with scorching-hot character chemistry, exciting suspense, and epic romance on June 26, 2014. To help promote this interstellar love story, Lost in Starlight, Sherry is doing this guest post to share the news with fellow booklovers. P.S. you can read the first 5 chapters for free on Wattpad!

High school reporter Sloane Masterson knows she has one helluva story when she witnesses hottie Hayden Lancaster bending forks with his mind.

Like any good journalist, Sloane sets out to uncover the truth, even if it includes a little stalking. When the superhuman feats start to pile up and the undeniable heat rises between them, Hayden has no choice but to reveal his secret: he’s an alien hybrid.

They’re as different as night and day—she’s a curvy, purple-haired, horror junkie and he’s a smoking hot, antisocial, brainiac—yet the intense fascination between them refuses to go away. Even at Hayden’s insistence that dating each other is “off limits” and crazy dangerous, their fiery attraction threatens to go supernova.

Now Sloane’s dealing with creepy government agents, ├╝ber snobby extraterrestrials, and a psycho alien ex-girlfriend out for revenge. After a crash course on the rules of interstellar dating, Sloane must decide if their star-crossed romance is worth risking her own life....

Sherry Soule's Dream Cast for Love in Starlight:

For my tough heroine, Sloane Masterson, I think this lovely and brilliant actress: Lucy Hale (just imagine her with purple hair!) would be perfect.

Tough talking, girl reporter, Sloane is not your typical heroine. She’s a feisty, disarming, and a fiercely independent seventeen-year-old. But she’s not flawlessly beautiful, or super thin, or extremely intelligent like some YA protagonists. Sloane has very real and relatable body issues and insecurities like most teen girls do. She favors the dark-side in clothes and music, loves to watch scary movies, and likes hanging out in graveyards. She uses her wits to cover her emotional scars, and if you can break through her tough exterior, you’ll have a fearless, loyal friend for life.

For the part of the stoic and brooding, Hayden Lancaster, I think this dynamic actor would be great, Luke Mitchell.

At first glance, it seems that eighteen-year-old Hayden has a detached, unemotional exterior, but what lies beneath is a kindhearted individual that will go out of their way to help another. Although he’s self-assured, he does have a tendency to emotionally distance himself from those around him, and this can
make Hayden an unpredictable and confusing companion at times.

For Sloane’s best friend, Viola Saks, this remarkable actress would be fantastic: Camilla Belle.

Outgoing and feisty, Viola’s a fun-loving spirit girl, who loves to read. Never lacking in optimism, Viola is frequently seen as a crusader for the rights of others and a defender of lost causes. Popularity makes no difference to her as long as she believes in the cause.

For Devin Greenspan, Editor of the school paper, I like this gifted actor best: Ed Westwick.

Devin has had a crush on Sloane for years and never gave the hope of one day hooking up with her. But when Hayden becomes her best friend, he feels threatened by the newcomer.

Only one actor comes to mind that could portray Hayden’s younger brother, Zach Lancaster, and it is actor, Paul Wesley.

Zach and his brother grew up in a close-knit family where outside friends are discouraged. So when Hayden becomes good friends with Sloane, Zach tries to sabotage the friendship and strongly opposes the relationship.

For Sloane’s good friends, Tanisha and Raymond, I like both of these talented actors: Erica Hubbard and Daniel Andrew Sharman:

Tanisha and Raymond are loyal friends that hang in Sloan’s crew. Tanisha dresses sort of Goth, and she’s really into Wicca and alternative bands. Raymond is more punk rock, and plays the role of the tortured musician to perfection.

Please mark your calendars to buy your copy of LOST IN STARLIGHT on June 26th 2014!

For more about Lost in Starlight check out these sites!


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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Four Houses by Victoria Scott #VMafia

I'm so excited to help share the cover of Victoria Scott's re-released dark YA short story, Four Houses! Four Houses will be available July 22, 2014, and is an extended version of the original story published in 2011. Make sure to enter the giveaway below to enter to win an e-copy of Four Houses and a physical ARC of The Jewel by Amy Ewing.

A frightened girl.

An empty field.

Four houses.

Which house would you choose?

FOUR HOUSES is a dark short story told in an unusual format that leaves readers wondering how they'd react if found in the same situation as seventeen-year-old Maddy.

I really love this cover because it's so different, yet still very similar to the covers of Scott's other books. Definitely leaves me wondering what's behind all of those doors!

What do you think of the cover?


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Add Four Houses on Goodreads!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Teaser Tuesday (81): Child of a Hidden Sea by A.M. Dellamonica

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

This week's teaser comes from Child of a Hidden Sea by A.M. Dellamonica. This one is an adult fantasy about pirates! I'm really hoping I love it, because I adore fantasy (not to mention pirates!), but more often then not I find myself getting bored with fantasy stories. But this one caught my attention because the heroine isn't from a fantasy world, but thrust into one after trying to help a long lost aunt. So I'm crossing my fingers that Child of a Hidden Sea is the hidden gem I'm hoping it will be!

She drew breath to scream, only to feel the spank of the sea, a wet fist of concrete between her shoulder blades, stinging even as it slowed her fall. She plunged beneath the waves, head first.

{Child of a Hidden Sea, pg. 1}

Synopsis of Child of a Hidden Sea:
One minute, twenty-four-year-old Sophie Hansa is in a San Francisco alley trying to save the life of the aunt she has never known. The next, she finds herself flung into the warm and salty waters of an unfamiliar world. Glowing moths fall to the waves around her, and the sleek bodies of unseen fish glide against her submerged ankles.

The world is Stormwrack, a series of island nations with a variety of cultures and economies—and a language different from any Sophie has heard.

Sophie doesn't know it yet, but she has just stepped into the middle of a political firestorm, and a conspiracy that could destroy a world she has just discovered… her world, where everyone seems to know who she is, and where she is forbidden to stay.

But Sophie is stubborn, and smart, and refuses to be cast adrift by people who don't know her and yet wish her gone. With the help of a sister she has never known, and a ship captain who would rather she had never arrived, she must navigate the shoals of the highly charged politics of Stormwrack, and win the right to decide for herself whether she stays in this wondrous world . . . or is doomed to exile.

For more about Child of a Hidden Sea check out these sites!


*All quotes are taken from an uncorrected ARC. Quotes may not match the finished copy.*

Monday, June 23, 2014

Spotlight: Dangerous Reflections by Shay West

Today I'm spotlighting Dangerous Reflections by Shay West! And make sure to check out the mini-interview with Shay below!

Alexis Davenport wants to go home. She hates her new school, her mother for moving her away from her friends, and her father for walking out.

To make matters worse, Alex is haunted by images of strange girls reflected in her mirror. It’s bad enough juggling homework, a relentless bully, boys, and a deadbeat dad; now, she must save the world from an evil presence hell-bent on changing the past – and our futures. Who knew her A+ in history was going to be this important?

What’s your favorite book?

I’d have to say the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Who’s your favorite author?

Tolkein :)

What’s your favorite dinner.....and dessert?

My mom’s homemade spaghetti and strawberry shortcake! I get them every year for my birthday :D

If you had to pick one movie or TV show to watch for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Doctor Who, hands down

If you could spend a day with any one person from the past, who would it be?

Jesus of Nazareth

About the Author:

Shay West was born in Longmont, CO and earned a doctorate degree in Human Medical Genetics from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical. Dr. West currently lives in Grand Junction, CO with her two cats. When not writing novels, she plays with plushie microbes and teaches biology classes at Colorado Mesa University. She is the author of the Portals of Destiny series and the Adventures of Alexis Davenport series. She has also been published in several anthologies: Battlespace (military scifi), Orange Karen: Tribute to a Warrior (fundraiser), and Ancient New (steampunk/fantasy).

You can find Dr. West and more of her work at

For more about Dangerous Reflections check out these sites!


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Review: The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick

Title: The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet
Authors: Bernie Su and Kate Rorick
Publisher: Touchstone
Publish Date: June 24th, 2014

A modern adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice based on the Emmy Award-winning phenomenon, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

There is a great deal that goes into making a video blog. Lizzie Bennet should know, having become a YouTube sensation over the course of her year-long video diary project. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries chronicled Lizzie’s life as a twenty-four-year-old grad student, struggling under a mountain of student loans and living at home with her two sisters—beautiful Jane and reckless Lydia. What may have started as her grad student thesis grew into so much more, as the videos came to inform and reflect her life and that of her sisters. When rich, handsome Bing Lee comes to town, along with his stuck-up friend William Darcy, things really start to get interesting for the Bennets—and for Lizzie’s viewers. Suddenly Lizzie—who always considered herself a fairly normal young woman—was a public figure. But not everything happened on-screen. Luckily for us, Lizzie kept a secret diary.

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet provides more character introspection as only a book can, with revelatory details about the Bennet household, including Lizzie’s special relationship with her father, untold stories from Netherfield, Lizzie’s thoughts and fears about life after grad school and becoming an instant web celebrity.

Written by Bernie Su, the series’ executive producer, co-creator, head writer, and director, along with Kate Rorick, the novelist, TV writer, and consulting producer on the series, the novel features a journal-entry format and design, complementing the existing web series, while including plenty of fresh twists to delight fans and new readers alike. The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet expands on the phenomenon that captivated a generation and reimagines the Pride and Prejudice story like it’s never been done before.

The Secret Diaries of Lizzie Bennet is a companion novel to the YouTube sensation, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

I have never been a fan of diary format. Actually, the second I hear that a book is written in diary format, I run in the other direction. So, why you ask, would I possibly want to read a book that's whole premise is that it's a diary? Because it's about Lizzie and Darcy, of course! I've mentioned my obsession with all things Pride and Prejudice multiple times, so when I discovered The Lizzie Bennet Diaries on YouTube I watched all the episodes in two days. Then, when I discovered this "secret diary" companion, I had to have it. And guess what? I loved it!

The diary format is not that pronounced, not to the point of being—what I would call—obnoxious. It's clear that Lizzie is writing to her diary and there's a noticeable lack of details—at least, at first—that would be present in a non-diary format story, but it still sucked me in. Especially when Darcy was involved. (Obviously ;)

And that's really my only problem with the book. Huge chunks of the beginning felt like filler in between Darcy showing up or any character doing anything, really. Lizzie likes to talk about her school work, but that does not make for an interesting story. Thankfully, the more characters are introduced and the more Caroline, Darcy and Lydia time we get, the more exciting the story becomes. But, near the end, when more things are happening on camera, we start to get a couple of scenes in transcript form, straight from the videos, instead of Lizzie's first person commentary. It works, but I would have liked to see more of what Lizzie was thinking and feeling during those scenes. But, we do get to see first hand accounts of the time Lizzie and Darcy spend together at Pemberley, which was an amazing kind of adorableness that will leave any LBD fan swooning.

This Lizzie is the most abrasive version of Elizabeth Bennet I've ever read about, but she definitely has some major character growth towards the middle/end, and not only because she falls for Darcy. I think Lizzie mostly sees the error of her ways—yes, because of Darcy and his letter, but also—because of Lydia. LBD's version of Lydia has the most depth of any character in a Pride and Prejudice retelling I've ever watched or read, even without seeing her perspective the way you do in the videos. I remembered just how powerful her story was while reading and wanted to go back and rewatch when she and Lizzie finally talk near the end, because of the serious sisterly bonding. Then there's Fitz, Gigi and Caroline who break up the seriousness with humor, and we actually get to see more of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet in the book which was really pretty great. If you can't tell, I'm pretty in love with this particular retelling of P&P!

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet is a must read for diehard Pride and Prejudice fans, or fans of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. If you haven't watched The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (go do that!) it's not necessary, but it's a lot of fun to be able to see the little things you weren't able to see while watching the series. And it might make a few odd references make a whole lot more sense. If you have seen LDB, you have to read the book because we get to see Lizzie/Darcy interaction first hand (!!!). So run! Go get your copy! You definitely don't want to miss out on any of the untold Dizzie action!

P.S. please figure out how to do this for Emma Approved! Because Snarky Knightly in book form would make me very happy.

For more about The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet check out these sites!


Watch The Lizzie Bennet Diaries HERE!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Breaking Fences by Juliana Haygert

Today I'm so excited to share an excerpt from Breaking Fences, the companion novel to Juliana Haygert's Breaking the Reins! I absolutely loved Breaking the Reins. It was one of the few New Adult novels I've read that didn't feel completely cookie cutter to me. Plus, horses, so... Now, Haygert's back with a brand new story about one of the side charcater's in Breaking the Reins, Bia. I can't wait to find out more about her, and see her amazing polo-playing brothers again! Make sure you enter the giveaway below to win the first book, Breaking the Reins!

All Beatriz “Bia” Fernandes wants is to prove herself—to her family and friends—though it’s hard to prove anything with an overbearing father and three famous polo-playing older brothers. After her acceptance into college results in a heated family argument, the Brazilian girl leaves everything behind to find her own American dream.

College life away from home is perfect until the people she believes to be her friends turn on her. With lies and rumors threatening to suffocate her, Bia turns to her only freedom. Riding.

But one thing gets in the way of her escape. Garrett Blackwell and his bad cowboy attitude. Working at the ranch is his obligation, bugging Bia is his newfound hobby. His thick skin and easy grin don’t hide what Bia already knows—this misunderstood and lonely cowboy fights his own demons. Brushing horses’ coats and mucking out stalls shouldn’t be this sexy, and it isn’t long before he becomes a part of her distraction.

However, escaping won’t solve her problems, and it’s up to Bia to break down the fences around her and prove her strength—not to her family and friends, but to herself ... and for Garrett.

Because standing on her own doesn’t have to mean standing alone.

Excerpt from Breaking Fences:

I entered through the back door and halted. Robbie wasn’t kidding. They had a tall shelf filled with bottles, a mini fridge, and three coolers in the back of the stand. 
I threw the beer in a garbage can, found one of the many bottles of whiskey, poured a good dose in a red cup, grabbed a can of Coke from inside the fridge, and dumped half of it with the whiskey. 
“My kind of girl.” 
I jumped and nearly dropped the cup. Bah, if I had dropped it, my boots would have been ruined and I would kill the jerk who— 
I turned around, ready to yell at whomever, but shut my mouth when I found myself face-to-face with Garrett. 
He sidestepped me and poured himself a healthy dose of whiskey. No Coke. He extended his cup to me. I just watched it. One side of his lips twitched up, and he wrapped his finger around my wrist and moved my arm, until our cups bumped into each other. “Cheers.” He let go of my arm and took a sip from his cup. 
I cleared my throat and drank a big gulp. 
In silence, we watched the guys lining up to kiss random girls through a small glass window in the center of the front door. One of them walked away from his turn wiping his mouth, and I laughed. 
However, when I heard Garrett’s low chuckle, I remembered I wasn’t alone and shut my mouth again. I hadn’t been this nervous around a guy in so long. But then again, I hadn’t been alone with a guy in so long. 
“I like your boots,” he said, breaking the ice. 
I glanced at him. Meu Deus, the guy was tall. His hazel eyes fixed on me. All right. Wasn’t I just complaining that I missed flirting? 
“I like them too,” I said. These weren’t my favorite, but they were close. Seeing he was wearing cowboy boots, I pointed to his feet. “I like yours too.” 
He glanced down and shrugged. “Are you a real cowgirl, or is it for show?” 
I raised an eyebrow. “Are you a real cowboy, or is it for show?” 
“Do you always answer questions with more questions?” 
I smiled. “Do you?” 
His lopsided grin faded, and the shine behind his eyes darkened. My heart skipped a beat and I held his stare. I wouldn’t be the one to break this showdown. 
“There you are!” Jonah barged in the stand. “Oh, the Brazilian girl.” Really? I suppressed a groan. “Good to see you again.” He grabbed a beer from one of the coolers. 
“Hey,” I said, feeling like I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. 
He put an arm around Garrett’s shoulders. Garrett had about two inches on him. “I see you met my bro.” 
I frowned. “Your bro? As in big brother, little brother from the fraternity thing?” 
“No. Garrett isn’t in the fraternity, not anymore. He’s my half-brother.” 
Garrett took a long swallow of his drink and looked out the window to the front.


About the Author:

New Adult author and contributor at NA Alley blog.

While Juliana Haygert dreams of being Wonder Woman, Buffy, or a blood elf shadow priest, she settles for the less exciting—but equally gratifying—life of a wife, mother, and author. Thousands of miles away from her former home in Brazil, she now resides in Connecticut and spends her days writing about kick-ass heroines and the heroes who drive them crazy.

For more about Breaking Fences check out these sites!


Book Blitz organized by: YA Bound Blog Tours

Friday, June 20, 2014

Review: Coin Heist by Elisa Ludwig

Title: Coin Heist
Author: Elisa Ludwig
Publisher: Adaptive Studios
Publish Date: June 10th, 2014

The last place you’d expect to find a team of criminals is at a prestigious Philadelphia prep school. But on a class trip to the U.S. Mint – which prints a million new coins every 30 minutes – an overlooked security flaw becomes far too tempting for a small group of students to ignore.

United by dire circumstances, these unlikely allies – the slacker, the nerd, the athlete, and the "perfect" student – band together to attempt the impossible: rob the U.S. Mint. The diverse crew is forced to confront their true beliefs about each other and themselves as they do the wrong thing for the right reasons.

Elisa Ludwig's Coin Heist is a fun, suspenseful, and compelling thriller, told from the revolving perspectives of four teens, each with their own motive for committing a crime that could change all of their lives for the better—if they can pull it off.

Coin Heist by Elisa Ludwig reminded me a lot of the movie The Perfect Score with Chris Evans. It's got a similar premise: group of high school students who would normally never speak to one another come together to pull off a heist. And even a similar cast of characters: the slacker/stoner looking for redemption, the smart girl who thinks it's fun, the popular girl looking to be bad, and the jock who needs the plan to work to get into college. And, after reading the book, I have to say, it was also just as fun as the movie was to watch.

My favorite part of Coin Heist wasn't the heist itself, but the characters behind it. The book starts out with Alice, the petite tech head who often gets overlooked in favor of the taller, blonder, bustier girls at school, and her crush on Jason, the headmaster's pothead son. When Jason's dad gets arrested for embezzlement and the future of their prep school is in danger, Alice and Jason concoct a plan to rob the Philadelphia Mint, which eventually includes Dakota (tall, blonde and busty herself) and Benny (the scholarship kid from the wrong side of town). I loved how these kids had nothing in common except for the fact that they all had reasons to want to save their school. These four take turns narrating in alternate chapters throughout the book. I can't even say I had favorite because they all stole my heart. They each had their own reasons and problems that made the heist seem like a good idea.

The heist itself, while enjoyable, was riddled with plot holes, but I had fun reading about it. There were times where I knew beyond a doubt that, in real life, this scenario just never would have worked, but it's a story and sometimes you just have to accept unrealistic things in a story. Like, for instance, four teenagers being able to steal coins right off of the presses at the Mint! Logically, it might not work, so if that's what you're looking for, this one is probably not for you, but if you're just looking to lose yourself in an adventure then you might just love Coin Heist.

There is a bit of romance thread throughout Coin Heist. It's a sweet romance though. It's a "like" sort of romance, not a "love" sort. There are no over the top declarations of undying love. These kids really act like they're in high school, you know, except for the whole pulling off huge robberies thing. But there's also the feeling of friendship while reading. Alice, Jason, Dakota and Benny are not friends, but throw anyone into a high pressure theft and they're sure to bond. I especially enjoyed the end because you got to see that, even though they had their differences, they learned and grew because of each other.

Coin Heist is a fast and fun read, that will have you flipping the pages to see what comes next. If you enjoy stories about teenage thieves this is definitely one you'll want to give a try!

For more about Coin Heist check out these sites!


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Summer Book Crush: Book Boyfriends Are Here!

What would you say to over 80 titles with many undeniably-hot BOOK BOYFRIENDS that leave you wanting more? Yep, we've got you covered. The second annual SUMMER BOOK CRUSH event runs this year from June 19th through June 22nd. Don't miss it, or you will have to wait a full year for the next one!

So many ways to fall in love with just a right BOOK BOYFRIEND! And the best part? You can purchase your dream Book Boyfriend for only 99¢ each, but for a limited time only.

We have guys who are brooding and complicated, or the perfect gentlemen, right next to the jock-a-licious beauties, and much much more for you, ladies to choose from!

Looking for the perfect Sexy Foreign Accent!

Find your summer’s fling between the pages of a book. And don't stop on one - after all we have many BOOK BOYFRIENDS for you to mingle with.

Or maybe your more into The Boy Next Door!

Who doesn't want a Perfect Gentleman!

Don't think twice - ONE CLICK it! Each book is only $0.99 but only for a few days, so don't delay before it's too late to flirt with ALL those hot guys.

Maybe you're looking for something Jock-A-Licious!

Don't pretend you don't like a Guy With A Little Bite!

* Let yourself get dreamily lost between the pages of these books *

** Our Book Boyfriends will take your hand and lead you straight into an unforgettable fantasy **

Maybe you like 'em A Little Bit Bad!

Everyone wants A Hero That Sizzles!

Come party with us on Facebook and Twitter during the event (6/19 - 6/22). Just look for the hashtag #SBCboyfriends!

Stop by the Summer Crush event to find your perfect Book Boyfriend!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Spotlight: Parallel Hearts by J.E. Darnbrough

Today we're spotlighting Parallel Hearts by J.E. Darnbrough, a YA fantasy romance. Check out the excerpt from the preface below!

What if you discovered your soul-mate was from an alternate universe?

When small town high school senior Anna Scott, loses her family in a mysterious accident and wakes up to the charming and mischievous Aaden Cross, her quiet and predictable world takes an impossible turn.

Sent from the parallel universe of Everly, Aaden reveals the unimaginable secrets Anna’s family have kept hidden leaving her feeling lost and second guessing everything she’s ever known. Without her twin sister to turn to, Anna struggles to understand the significant role she’s expected to play in Everly, and why the unlawful Valdorian clan is hell bent on taking her for themselves. But as Anna discovers the responsibilities and sacrifices that come with being a Descendant, she can’t help but break the one promise Aaden needs her to keep. Now, Anna must decide between doing what’s right or risking everything to follow her heart.

Excerpt from Parallel Hearts:

His brutal honesty hits me square in the chest, like an invisible dagger jabbing me over and over again until my heart breaks open like the promise I couldn’t keep. Crumbling beneath the weight of his words, I slide down the wall until the bathroom floor catches me like an old friend. I can’t breathe and the burning in my chest ignites every time I replay his voice over in my mind. Why did I let myself fall so easily, even when I knew it wasn’t right? Like drops of rain with no river to call home, heavy tears fill my eyes and pour endlessly down the sides of my face. I should have known, I yell at myself, slamming my fist against the floor until my hand feels as numb as my heart. I should have known not to let him get close enough to hurt me.

For more about Parallel Hearts check out these sites!


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Teaser Tuesday (80): Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

This week's teaser comes from Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas. I know this one isn't out until September, but I couldn't help myself. I had to start reading it, and I'm so glad I did. Celaena always blows me away every time I pick up a book in this series.

Just her, just him. Just as it should be; no loss of life beyond their own, no soul stained but hers. It would take a monster to destroy a monster.

{Heir of Fire, Chapter 1}

He just prayed that she could be piece herself back together again. Because a broken, unpredictable assassin was one thing. But a queen...

{Heir of Fire, Chapter 3}

Synopsis of Heir of Fire:

Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

For more about Heir of Fire check out these sites!


*All quotes are taken from an uncorrected ARC. Quotes may not match the finished copy.*

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Shuffle Saturday (68): Boom Clap

Every Saturday I'll be posting a random song off of my iPod. Everyone can feel free to join in, just leave a link to your Shuffle Saturday post in the comments! This week's song is:

Boom Clap by Charli XCX

This song is super catchy and fun. And it is, obviously, a song from The Fault in Our Stars movie with all the cute clips of Hazel and Gus in the music video. Speaking of, have you guys seen the movie yet? I thought it was a really beautiful adaption, even though it wasn't, like, word for word the same as the book.

What are you listening to?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Spotlight: Plumb Crazy by Molly Blaisdell

Today we're spotlighting Plumb Crazy by Molly Blaisdell, which released this week. Plumb Crazy is a new adult romance that flashes back on Elva's time in high school her junior year. Make sure you check out the excerpt below!

Small town country girl Elva Presley Hicks is about to attend her five-year class reunion with her best friends, Shay and Margarett.

The discovery of an old fanfic manuscript stirs up memories of her summer job as a plumber’s helper in Houston the summer before senior year. She earned a lot of money that year, but was lonely as heck.

It's not like there weren't any suitors back then. Elva could have chosen between Chase, the obese pig farmer, and Wyatt, the plumber with wandering hands. But Elva yearned for something more, and found it that fateful summer, with electrician, Mitch McCall.

It was magical. Mitch wasn't turned off by Elva's name or fan fiction writing, and Elva didn't lose interest in Mitch after he cut off his nose at work.

Trials and triumphs followed including a friendship implosion, world-wide fanfic humiliation, and goat salvation. It would go down as the most memorable summer of high school.

But as these things sometimes do, the summer romance fizzled and Elva moved on to life after high school. And while she's ready to reminisce, she is unnerved when she runs into Mitch at the reunion. Can they give it another go after so much time has passed, or are they too different now to even try?

Excerpt from Plumb Crazy:

Come out for the Belling High School reunion. Setups for BYOB. 
The invitation arrived by mail. Her five year class reunion. 
Elva could hardly believe it had been five years. It was amazing how fast time burned up in a puff of college classes, summer jobs, and road trips to sci-fi conventions (her guilty pleasure). She’d decided not go to the reunion. A return to high school seemed like a waste of time, but then Shay had called and after that, Margarett. Her best friends, the Loser Girls, a name born of junior high foolishness—they wanted to reunite, and she couldn’t say no. 
She put out the fifty dollars for the reunion boat ride on Lake Conroe, along with barbeque and country western dancing. Next, she’d shopped for a new dress since the planning committee insisted that everyone wear formals. 
“Elva Presley, are you ready?” Her grandmother, Nonny, was watching TV. 
Elva headed into the living room. 
“Do you like my outfit?” she asked, spinning in a fuchsia mini with sparkly shoulder straps, her four-inch high pumps dangling from a finger. 
“Oh, Elva Presley, you look so much like your mama did,” Nonny said. 
Elva laughed. She was all generous curves, and her mama had been model thin. 
Papaw came out of the bathroom. “Elva, do you have enough gas money for tonight?” 
“I’m fine. I’ve got my internship pay. I just need my purse, and then I’ll pick up Margarett in Jersey Village. Shay’s meeting us at the boat.” 
Elva glanced around the living room for her clutch purse. She checked in the bedroom. Her sequined clutch jutted out from under the bed. When she reached down to pick it up, her fingers grazed a rubber-banded stack of paper. Elva hooked the purse over her wrist and picked up the stack. The edges of the sheets were curled and faded coffee stains blossomed across the cover page. 
Her breath caught in her throat when she read the title. “The Death Incident.” 
She hadn’t seen this manuscript since she started college. Her lips curved into her widest smile. It suddenly all seemed like yesterday. 
Elva went to her car, a yellow Yaris that she’d paid off herself last summer. She put it in gear and headed to Margarett’s. Vivid memories flooded back of Belling High School, a low cinder block building hunkered down in hardscrabble grassland choked by bull nettle and scourged by fire ants.

The cafeteria doors were painted mud-coffee to hide the dirt. 
It all started after her junior year.

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Spotlight: School of Deaths by Christopher Mannino

Today we're spotlighting School of Deaths by Christopher Mannino, a fantasy about the first female Grim Reaper in a long time. Make sure you check out the excerpt and trailer down below!

Can a timid girl find bravery as the first female Death?

Thirteen-year-old Suzie Sarnio always believed the Grim Reaper was a fairy tale image of a skeleton with a scythe. Now, forced to enter the College of Deaths, she finds herself training to bring souls from the Living World to the Hereafter. The task is demanding enough, but as the only female in the all-male College, she quickly becomes a target. Attacked by both classmates and strangers, Suzie is alone in a world where even her teachers want her to fail.

Caught in the middle of a plot to overthrow the World of Deaths, Suzie must uncover the reason she’s been brought there: the first female Death in a million years.

Excerpt from School of Deaths:

Chapter One
The Girl Who Looked like Death
She wanted to scream but no sound came. She wanted to run, but her legs wouldn’t move. The hooded man grinned. 
Suzie’s heart pounded as she opened her eyes. Laughter echoed in the back of her head. The terrible laughter she heard every night. She wiped the sweat from her face, pushing aside the sheets. Sunlight spilled into her room from between frilly curtains. Mom would be knocking on the door to wake her soon. 
She turned to one side as the dream started to fade. Every night the same nightmare. Every night she heard the laughter. The hooded man with a scythe. The feeling of complete terror. 
What did it mean? 
Above her clock radio, a worn teddy bear stared at her with its single eye. She pulled the bear to her chest and clutched it with her bony fingers. 
Suzie Sarnio. The hooded man had written her name down. He always wrote it right before the laughter began. The man looked like Death. But why would Death have a stammer? 
“Suzie,” said Mom, knocking on the door. “Come on, you’ll be late for school.” 
“I’m coming.” 
Suzie changed, staring at the mirror in her pink-wallpapered room. Each rib stuck out from her chest; she counted all twenty-four. The skin on her face stretched tightly over her skeletal face, and dark patches surrounded each of her gray eyes. As much as she tried to comb it, her long black hair tangled into stringy knots. Her arms hung from her shoulders like twigs, and her legs looked too weak to hold her up. In the past few months, she had lost nearly half of her weight. She glanced at an old picture, taken last year, on the first day of seventh grade. A chubby, pigtailed girl with freckles smiled back at her from the photo. Her braces gleamed in the sun, only a month before their removal. Suzie sighed. She opened the door, looking for a moment at her room. She didn’t want to start another year of school. Slowly, she turned around. 
“Hey, squirt, watch out,” said Joe. 
“Sorry.” Joe was a pest and a bully, but he was her big brother, and Suzie supposed she loved him. 
“Get your skinny butt out of the way already. We’ve got a run before school.” 
“Today’s the first day—” 
“After last year, coach says we have to practice early.” 
Suzie stepped aside, watching the bulky frame of her brother lumber downstairs. 
“Later.” He winked at Suzie. “Have fun at school.” He ran out the front door, slamming it behind him, while Suzie went to the kitchen and sat down. 
“I’ve made you a special breakfast,” said her mother, carrying a plate and a glass of orange juice. 
“Let me guess, something big.” 
“I’ve made three eggs, two slices of sausage, four pieces of toast, two slices of bacon, a bowl of oatmeal with raisins, and a doughnut.” 
“Mom, I keep telling you, I eat as much as I can.” 
“You’re skin and bones, literally. Your father and I are worried sick. You have another appointment with Dr. Fox after school today. Did you take your pills this morning?” 
“No, Mom, but I will.” 
Suzie gave up arguing. Her parents, friends, and doctors were wrong. She didn’t want to lose weight. Everyone kept talking about anorexia, about eating disorders. The strange thing was Suzie ate more than she ever had before. She ate twice as much as any of her friends, hardly exercised, and certainly never—what was the word the doctor had used—oh right, purged. Gross. No, the way Suzie ate, she figured she should be fat. Only she wasn’t. 
Suzie managed to eat most of the massive breakfast. Her stomach ached, but maybe a little would stay this time. She wiped her mouth, rubbing her fingers across the bones of her face. Doubtful. 
“Are you ready for school?” 
“Yes, Mom.” 
“Go brush your teeth, and I’ll be in the car. Don’t forget, we’re picking you up at one for your appointment with Dr. Fox.” 
“Yeah, I know.” 
“Today’s your first day of eighth grade. Isn’t that exciting?” 
Suzie didn’t answer. What would her friends say? She’d spent the summer avoiding them, dropping out of camp and swim club. She was embarrassed. She honestly didn’t want to lose weight, and didn’t have an eating disorder, but she appeared skeletal. 
She brushed her teeth in silence, dragging her feet. She put on her backpack and got in the car. 
“Honey, you’re nervous, but you’ll be fine. Tell people you’ve been sick, and—” 
“I’m not sick, Mom. If I was sick, the doctors would cure me. If I had an eating problem, they’d work with me. I eat more than ever, and I hardly exercise anymore. This doesn’t make any sense.” Suzie wiped a tear from her eye. 
“Are you sure this isn’t because of Bumper?” 
Bumper. The family beagle for ten years. He had died three months ago, about the time Suzie had started losing weight. Mom believed the two were connected. Dr. Fox agreed. Sure, Suzie missed Bumper, but that wasn’t the problem. 
“No, Mom, I was sad for a little while, but I never changed what I eat. If anything, I eat more now.” 
“Susan, you’ll be all right. I promise. Your father and I will continue to get the finest doctors, until we figure out what’s wrong with you. Remember what Dr. Fox said last time? For now, the best thing is to go to school and be around other kids.” 
She sighed. Mom still didn’t understand, and if Mom and Dad didn’t relate, her classmates would be even worse. They pulled up in front of school, and she gave her mom a quick peck on the cheek. 
“Don’t forget. One o’clock.” Mom smiled, trying to hide the strain in her eyes. 
“Okay, Mom.” 
“Suzie, my gawd, you look like death.” 
Crystal hadn’t changed. The smiling redhead with large blue glasses and the ever-present smell of cherry bubblegum was her best friend. She was grateful Crystal had spent the summer away. “Did you have a nice summer? How was Colorado?” 
“My summer was great. Colorado’s cold. Geesh, what happened to you, Suzie?” 
“I’ve been sick,” said Suzie. Not a complete lie, obviously something was wrong with her, but she didn’t know what.  
“Sick?” Her voice lowered to a whisper. “You look like you’re dying.” 
“I’ll be fine.” 
“Crystaaal. Suzieee,” shouted a voice from across the parking lot. 
“Oh gawd, it’s Monica,” said Crystal. “Let’s go inside quick.” 
Suzie and her friend started to walk away, but the tall, lanky girl with small eyes caught up to them. Monica. She wasn’t too bad, if you ignored her whiny voice and her inane stories.
“Hiii guys,” said Monica. “I missed youuu this summer. Did you lose weight? The funniest thing happened the other day…” 
Suzie realized the worst of the day was over. She got teasing looks from the kids and concerned frowns from the teachers, but like Monica, most people were too wrapped up in their own little world to pay any attention to her. Even Crystal eventually stopped asking questions. 
“Tell me again, do you like the way you look?” 
“I’m sorry, what?” she asked. 
Suzie snapped to attention. The day had blurred by, and she was sitting in Dr. Fox’s office, wearing a hospital gown. 
“Suzie, I asked if you like the way you look?” 
Suzie was cold and annoyed. The office smelled of bleach, and the fluorescent light overhead hummed like a dying fly. Dr. Fox glanced up from her notes and smiled a dry, lifeless smile she probably practiced in front of a mirror. 
“No, Doctor.” She repeated the same answers she had given last time, and the time before. “I despise the way I look. I’m a damned skeleton. You can see every bone. I love to eat, I don’t purge, I hardly exercise, and I actually feel fine.” 
“Yes, that’s the strangest part,” interrupted Dr. Fox. “Every test seems to indicate that you’re at the peak of health. No lanugo, no joint issues, no skin problems, and your stomach and the rest of you are actually functioning fine. I’ve almost completely ruled out anorexia, but your weight is still drastically low. It’s like your calories are vanishing into some other dimension.” She laughed. “My husband wishes that would happen with me.” 
“May I get dressed now?” 
“Susan, I will get to the bottom of this. I have called a specialist in from the West Coast, from San Francisco. He might be able to shed some light on this condition. Your mother and I set up the appointment for next Thursday.” 
“May I please get dressed now?” 
“Yes, yes. I’m sorry I can’t do anything else for you.” Dr Fox sighed. 
None of them knows what’s wrong. To them I’m just another puzzle to solve. She dressed and gave Mom a smirk, turning up her lips on one side to show she was unhappy. Mom smiled and shrugged. 
“We’ll figure out what’s wrong, honey,” Mom said. They lied; no one knew. 
* * * *

The next day was even worse. Now that the kids were starting to settle back into school, they had more time to notice her. 
“Suzieee,” squealed Monica, her breath reeking of garlic and orange soda. “You’re skinnier than a skeleeeton. It’s weeeird.” 
“Gawd Monica,” said Crystal. “Leave her alone already.” 
Suzie rolled her eyes and sat at her desk. 
“Susan Sarnio,” called Ms. Warwood, glancing up from a seating chart. “Would you come here for a moment?” 
“Oooh.” The few who didn’t speak aloud were certainly thinking it. The whole class watched. Suzie’s face reddened as she got up and walked to the teacher. 
“Yes, Ms. Warwood?” 
“Susan, are you all right? When I took roll yesterday, I noticed you appeared tired.” 
The whispers behind her grew louder. Couldn’t she have waited until after class? And on the second day of school. 
“I’m fine,” said Suzie. “I’ve been ill lately.” 
“Yes, well, tell me if there’s any way I can help. Have a seat, dear.” 
This was going to be a terrible year. Suzie didn’t even raise her head when the teacher started talking about books or maps or whatever. She sat at her desk, staring at her hands. Each bone poked through her tightly stretched skin. She counted nineteen bones in each hand, not counting her wrists. Disgusting. 
Finally, the bell rang for lunch. Mom had packed four sandwiches, three apples, two cans of soda, six bags of potato chips, and two candy bars. Overcompensating again, despite the doctor’s orders to feed her normally. Suzie ate one sandwich and an apple, putting the rest back in her bag. She sat in a corner, not talking to anyone, not even Crystal. She didn’t have the heart. 
After lunch, she had math, her least favorite subject. She walked up the stairwell and trudged into class. She sat down and felt a soft squish. A boy behind her started laughing. Suzie got up slowly, eyeing the gum he’d placed in her chair. 
She didn’t even tell the teacher. She stood; tearing the wad off her pants, then threw it on the floor and sank back into her seat, hiding her head in her hands. 
Everything went dark. 
“Are you all right?” Suzie sat up slowly. Mr. Thompson, her math teacher, was standing over her, worried. “Do you need to go the nurse?” 
Suzie got up. Somehow, she had landed on the floor. She must have passed out. That was new; now the doctors would have even more to worry about. 
“Paul, why don’t you help Ms.…?” 
“Suzie. I’m Suzie Sarnio.” 
“Right. Paul, take Suzie to the nurse’s office, please. The rest of you, back to page thirteen.” 
Suzie got her bag and followed Paul to the nurse’s. She had always liked Nurse Cherwell. She had rosy cheeks and always reminded Suzie of a massive gingerbread cookie. Her office smelled like peppermint. 
“Oh deary, deary, dear. What’s the matter with you, sweetheart?” Nurse Cherwell had a voice like gumdrops. Suzie had only been to the nurse’s office a few times before. Last year, they’d called her to tell her about Bumper. It had seemed surreal at the time, the year was winding down, and everything was going well. Then she found out her dog had died, and they told her in an office resembling a gingerbread house. 
“I fainted in class. Maybe I should go home.” Suzie didn’t need to go home, but why stay any longer at school? The kids were making fun of her, and she wasn’t in the mood for gingerbread. 
“Deary, my deary, sweet poor dumpling, oh my. I guess we’ll have to call your mommy and get you straight to beddy-bye, now won’t we, deary dear?” Nurse Cherwell smiled a huge smile full of marshmallow-white teeth and reached down to pinch Suzie’s cheek.
Mom arrived soon after. She spoke to the nurse and gave Suzie a frown. 
“Did you eat the lunch I packed for you, Susan?” 
“Mom, I ate what I could. You packed a dozen lunches in my bag, and I’m your only kid in middle school.” 
“You have to take care of yourself, honey. It’s only the second day of school.” Mom sighed. 
For the first time, Suzie sensed how stressed her mother was. Mom wanted to understand what was wrong, but was helpless. She wiped a tear away, trying to hide it, but Suzie had seen. She reached up and gave Mom an enormous hug, wrapping her skeletal arms around her mother’s waist. 
“Come on, Mom, let’s go home.” 
* * * *

“You okay, squirt?” Joe bounded through her bedroom door. He smelled of sweat and dirt.
“I’m okay,” said Suzie. She sat up in her bed, putting her book aside. “They teased me a lot today.” 
“You? My sister? I’ll beat ’em up.” He slapped her on the back playfully, making Suzie slump forward. He leaned closer to her and peered in her eyes. His cinnamon gum stank. 
“Tell me honestly.” He lowered his voice to whisper. “What’s going on? You’ve been losing weight since Bumper died. Mom and Dad are freaking out.” 
“I’m not trying to scare them, Joe. I’m sure I look anorexic or something, but I keep eating and eating and nothing changes. It must be some disease the doctors haven’t heard about, they’re bringing in a specialist and everything.” 
“Suzie?” Joe sat next to her and wrapped his big, muscular arms around her wiry frame. “You’ll be okay?” 
“I will be, yeah.” 
“Susan,” called Mom from downstairs. A moment later, her head appeared in the doorway. Joe released Suzie and stood. 
“How are you feeling honey?” asked Mom. 
“I’m fine.” 
“Why don’t you both come down for dinner?” 
“Okay, Mom,” they said in unison. Joe turned to Suzie and smiled. They headed downstairs and sat down. 
“Your father had an urgent call, and won’t be home until late,” said Mom, carrying a steaming dish of delicious-smelling rosemary chicken and potatoes to the table. The doorbell rang. 
“I hope it’s not the Mormons again,” muttered Mom, rising. 
“I’ll get it,” said Joe. Whenever Dad wasn’t home, Joe tended to act like the man of the house. Suzie wasn’t sure if he was annoying or endearing, or perhaps a little of both. Mom sat down, and Joe opened the door. 
“Can I help you?” 
A hunchbacked man in a black robe, carrying an immense scythe, stood in the doorway. Something shiny hung around his neck. 
“Er, um. H-h-hello. I-i-i-s Su-su-su-Susan here?” 
Joe laughed. “Halloween’s not for over a month, man. Why don’t you come back then?” He started to close the door, but the strange man lowered his scythe, propping it open. 
“What are you doing?” yelled Joe. 
“P-p-please. I n-n-need to ta-talk to Susan,” he stammered. 
Suzie gasped, remembering where she had seen the strange man. He was the one who opened the door looking out in the strange dream she kept having. 
Mom touched the blade of the scythe and drew her hand back in surprise. 
“That thing’s real,” she said. “Get out. Get out of my house!” 
“P-p-p-please,” he started again. 
“Wait, Mom,” Suzie said, rising. Joe, Mom, and the strange man turned to her. “I want to talk to him.” Was it the man from her dream? 
“Susan, sit down,” said Mom, her voice trembling. 
“No, it’s okay,” said Suzie. She walked to the door. The man seemed scared, even a little confused. He was probably her father’s age, but was nothing like Dad. His face was chubby, unshaven, and pockmarked, and his blond hair was uncombed. A golden chain with a charm hung from his neck. He raised his scythe and nodded. Joe held the door, ready to slam it, but Suzie stood in the entrance. 
“Who are you?” she asked. 
“My n-n-n-name is K-k-k-Cronk. C-Cronk Averill.” 
“C-Cronk Averill?” laughed Joe. “Is this guy for real?” 
“I’ve c-c-c-come to t-t-t-take you b-b-b-back.” 
“Take me back where?” asked Suzie. 
“You are a D-d-d-d…” 
“A Death,” said Cronk. Joe reached for Suzie, but before he touched her, Cronk grabbed Suzie’s arm. His speed surprised her. She yelled, but he raised his scythe and lowered it, cutting the air. Suddenly, the house, Joe, Mom, and the entire world vanished. Colors and smells, noises and strange sensations, flowed past Suzie in a blur. 
She opened her eyes. She was standing in a field. Cronk stood in front of her, frowning. 
“What did you do?” she demanded. “Where are we?” She looked up. It was sunny. But there were two suns.

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